POLSON — The Montana Red Cross has opened a shelter in Polson for residents displaced by the Boulder 2700 Fire burning east of Polson.
The emergency evacuation shelter is located at the Linderman Elementary School, 312 4th Ave. E. in Polson.
The shelter will provide free families services, including a safe place to stay, meals, and other community resources.
People also can request Red Cross services by calling 800-272-6668.
Additionally, Helping Hands of Mission Valley is offering personal care bags as well as food vouchers, clothing, and showers for anyone in need. Call 406-883-8256 for more info.
The Polson Chamber of Commerce notes in a social media post that towels for people showering are needed.
The Chamber is also compiling a list of small animals -- dogs and cats -- that need to be housed temporarily while people are inside the shelter in Lindemann Gym.
People who can provide a space are asked to reach out to Life Savers Animal Rescue and let them know.￼￼
The Chamber notes many of the vendors at the Cherry Festival have offered to help. Message the @polsonbusinesscommunity for more information.
People can also contact Helping Hands at (406) 883.8256 if they are in need of personal care items, food, clothing, pet food or gas vouchers.
There is limited availability for lodging and there are volunteers willing to take families, pets, campers. You can message Helping Hands through their Facebook page as well.
The Red Cross recommends the following steps to be prepared and stay safe should a wildfire occur in your area:
- Gather your family or household members and delegate responsibilities.
- Assemble an emergency kit to take with you when you evacuate. For a detailed list of items to include visit www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies.html
- Prepare an information kit with important documents like medical, banking and insurance records.
- Save a list of emergency numbers on every cellphone.
- Plan ahead for your pets and livestock. Ask local officials where you can bring them.
- Identify a place to meet in case you are separated.
- Plan and practice several evacuation routes from your neighborhood.
If an evacuation is imminent:
- Tune in to local radio and television stations for updated emergency information.
- Limit exposure to smoke and dust. Keep indoor air clean by closing (but not locking) windows and doors. Close curtains, shutters, and blinds. Use the recycle mode on your air conditioner.
- Turn on exterior lights.
- Remove flammable items from decks and porches.
- Open gates for animals that cannot be evacuated.
- Connect a hose to an outside spigot, mark any water sources on your property, and leave a ladder for firefighters.
- Put your emergency kit in your car. Back your car into the garage or park it in an open space facing the direction of escape, with windows closed and keys in the ignition.
- Put your best driver at the wheel. Turn on lights, drive slowly and watch out for emergency vehicles.
Evacuate as soon as the order is given. Don’t delay.
Be Prepared: Evacuation TipsHelpful tips and suggestions should you need to evacuate due to a wildfire
Wildland Fire Terminology 101Search common terms used in wildland firefighting and reporting to better understand what is happening during a fire.
Fire Restrictions in MontanaView a map showing current fire restrictions in across Montana.
Wildfire Watch: Submit Your PhotosClick here to share your photos or videos with MTN News.